Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 27th May 2017 09:26 UTC

Apple is working on a processor devoted specifically to AI-related tasks, according to a person familiar with the matter. The chip, known internally as the Apple Neural Engine, would improve the way the company's devices handle tasks that would otherwise require human intelligence - such as facial recognition and speech recognition, said the person, who requested anonymity discussing a product that hasn't been made public. Apple declined to comment.

It's interesting - and unsurprising - that while Google is investing in server-side AI by developing its own custom AI hardware, Apple is apparently investing in keeping AI local. It fits right into the different approaches to privacy by these two companies, which is why I find this entirely unsurprising.

As a sidenote - isn't it interesting how when new technologies come around, we try to offload it to a specific chip, only to then bring it back into the main processor later on?

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by przemo_li on Sun 28th May 2017 13:33 UTC
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Pattern of first developing separate chip then integrating that technology into main CPU comes from physics of electronics.

You maxed out number of transistors You have in Your chip doing useful stuff.
Then You have this nice idea about something extra, so You can only add that something extra as a separate chip.
Then total practical number of transistors in a chip rise, and You can integrate Your chip. If fact that may be very good idea, since total of transistors rose, but not all of them can work at the same time (power budget is too small).
So adding that extra functionality to main chip is very good idea.

What is amazing here is that industry was able to pace itself in a way that this very pattern occurred for decades.

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